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Nick Armitstead has Classic ambition in Otley
While Olympic hopeful Lizzie Armitstead prepares for the biggest challenges of her cycling career, her brother Nick is quietly getting ready for the race he would most like to win.
The 26-year-old plumber, who rides with the Otley-based Dirtwheels team, would love to win the Chevin Cycles Classic on the streets of his home town.
He might also find himself racing alongside his little sister on Wednesday, if she decides to ride.
Lizzie has entered the event again but is due to defend her National Road Race title at Ampleforth on Sunday week.
And with the Olympics in London also looming, she will have to decide whether to risk competing on the streets of Otley.
Nick, who often enjoys training rides in the Dales with Lizzie when she is at home, is adamant that they would not be taking each other on if they do both take part.
He said: “Lizzie is very good and very strong. I know that if she made a break I wouldn’t race her and I am sure she wouldn’t do the same to me. We may be in the same race but we won’t be racing each other.”
This year has been a difficult one for Nick, with illness and then a bad crash keeping him out of the saddle over the winter.
He recalled: “I was riding out near Farnley when I crashed into a deer. I didn’t break any bones but I suffered some injuries which stopped me from cycling.
“It took me a little while to get back in the swing of things but I have been having some decent results recently.”
Nick is a relatively recent convert to road racing. He only took it up three years ago after previously trying his hand at BMX.
He said: “When I started racing my target was to try and win the Classic race at Otley. That is still my goal and I hope that one day I can achieve it.”
Over 4,000 spectators are expected to line the course and enjoy the continental atmosphere that transforms the Yorkshire market town on bike race night, with Sky TV there to capture the action.